Is Rafa in trouble?By: Rob | October 20th, 2009
So, Liverpool suffered a loss again this evening, to Lyon in the Champions League. At the end of the game, Liverpool fans were chanting for Rafa’s head. Now while it isn’t always a good indication, it does say a fair bit about the situation at Anfield.
After a really impressive season last time around, where they could have won the title had they not drawn against a few lesser teams, expectations were naturally fairly high for this season. And yet, and yet.
They are now facing an uphill struggle to get through the group stage of the Champions League (only points a 1-0 win against group whipping boys Debrecren) and the beach-ball fiasco ensured a fourth loss of the season, and 8th place. Manchester United are the next team on the fixture list.
But is Rafa really in danger of the chop?
While a loss against United at the weekend would cap off an absolutely dreadful week to be a Liverpool supporter, I’m not entirely sure Liverpool are going to be weilding the axe around Rafa just yet.
The owners seem to want to sell the club. Thus, getting in someone else, their own man, doesn’t entirely make sense.
There is also the fact that the title race looks absurdly open this season. Liverpool might have lost 4 times, but Arsenal and Chelsea have both lost twice each, and Man United have been beaten already. So a win at the weekend does widen it up a little. I don’t think there is going to a be a runaway leader this year.
Also, Rafa has been in this position for Liverpool before, and done rather well out of it. They appeared to struggle in the 2004–05 Champions League, and then they went on to win the bloody thing.
He does have to turn it around soon though. Maybe he should start by playing Yossi Benayoun for 90 minutes now and then? He often appears to be one of Liverpool’s best players, and yet he seems constantly undervalued by Benitez.